How much does garden decking cost?
The garden decking costs in this article are correct as of 2020
We all want to get the most out of our gardens, and creating a dedicated place to sit and enjoy our outdoor space can help maximise those sunny days and warm evenings. Installing new decking is the perfect way to do this, letting you enjoy the garden while creating a space that can function almost like another room for your home. Using timber decking in particular can give a natural look that complements the rest of your garden.
If you’re thinking about adding decking to your home, we’ve outlined some typical decking costs, so you can plan ahead before starting your project.
The price of decking is dependent on the choice of material you use. There are two key types available - traditional timber decking, which is most common, and composite decking, an alternative to timber made of wood fibres and plastic.
Timber gives a natural finish and is hard-wearing - with correct treatment, it can last for years. Composite is even more hardy - it will not rot or disintegrate no matter what the weather throws at it, and depending on the finish it can be slip-resistant, stain-resistant and scratch-proof. It can also be manufactured in a variety of colours, whereas wood has to be treated and painted to achieve the same effect. However, some people do not like the artificial finish, preferring natural wood.
Timber decking costs vary depending on your choice of timber - pine is the most commonly used and the cheapest, but there are a variety of other options such as cedar and redwood.
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Basic timber decking boards can be bought as garden centres for as little as £15 per metre squared. More premium products, which can be bought via specialists, may cost upwards of £80 per square metre, meaning that materials for a 20m square deck can cost between £300 and £1,600.
Composite decking prices are generally higher on average than timber, with the higher cost justified by the fact they are harder wearing and require less ongoing maintenance. Prices per square metre generally range from £80 to £120.
Decking installation cost
Landscape gardeners, carpenters and joiners, and decking specialists can all install decking, and their labour will add a large amount to overall cost you’ll pay to add decking to your garden. At a day rate of £150 to £200 - likely to be higher in London and the South East - and a typical three days of work to prepare the ground, set the joists and install the decking, labour can easily add more than £600 to the overall project costs, pushing the final total to around £900 for a 20m squared pine deck, and more than £2,000 for a high-end timber or composite deck.
If your deck shape is more complicated than a square or rectangle, particularly if it is curved or requires complicated shaping, then the costs will be higher again, as cutting out the required shapes will require extra time and labour.